Antigonish, NS - The UNB Reds spoiled the StFX X-Men's home-opener on Friday night by overcoming an early deficit to play to 101-95 victory at the Oland Centre.
The players took the old saying that you miss one-hundred per cent of the shots you don't take to heart as shots were fired and mostly landed from everywhere. Justin Andrew (Hamilton, ON) gave a geography lesson on Coach K Court as to where he was able to land his shots. The quick StFX start forced coach Brent Baker to go to his bench early.
Daniel Levitt (Montreal, PQ) and Ogot Ogot (Edmonton, AB) each had five points as a big X-Men lead turned into just five points after the first quarter at 28-23. StFX's big men of Azaro Roker (Nassau, Bahamas) and Daniel Passley (Mississauga, ON) were dominant down low and were excellent throughout the game for the home side.
The second quarter saw both teams continue their hot shooting, but the pace of the game slowed slightly as UNB altered the game to a more half-court style game. The experienced Chris Spurrell (Quispamsis, NB), who finished with 21 points on the night, helped to stem the X-Men's desire to play at a furious pace. The Reds would take a 54-53 lead into the locker room. Jayden Smith (Halifax, NS) led the way for X with 10 points in the opening half and showed a nice touch from distance, as well as being able to finish in the blue paint.
The third quarter saw Reds point guard Daniel Pitcher (Sydney, AUS) play his best innings as he contributed nine points going 4-4 from the floor as UNB extended and kept a good lead. Roker and Passley led the way for the X-Men, but the three-point shooting began to falter for the home squad as they only went 1-7 from beyond the arc. The Reds were up 79-71 after three quarters of play.
The fourth quarter saw X inch closer, but they were unable to take over the game. The X-Men had the lead down to five in the closing minutes, but UNB held on for the win. Reds forward Ibrahima Doumbouya (Calgary, AB) was excellent, even though he was in foul trouble for most of the quarter. He was dominant in the blue paint, both offensively and defensively, and contributed 11 points in the fourth quarter alone and was one of six Reds players to finish in the double scoring digits on the night.
Subway player of the game Chris Spurrell led the way with his 21 points including 5-7 from three-point range. Doumbouya finished with 16 points and 10 rebounds for a double-double night and Jesse Kendall (Guelph, ON) scored 12. Tyler Leotaud (Toronto, ON), Pitcher and Levitt each added 10 points apiece.
For the X-Men, Andrew was their leading scorer with 24 points on the night, along with dishing out nine assists. StFX player of the game Passley scored 22 and had eight rebounds, while Smith netted 16 off the X-Men bench. Thomas Legallais (Cornwall, ON) and Roker each contributed 10 points and Roker added eight rebounds.
Both teams are back on Coach K Court Saturday evening for an 8:00 pm game.
Courtesy Bart Sears, StFX Sports Information